Grape Expectations - Dog day afternoon

Max Crus
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Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon, 2006

Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon, 2006 [©Max Crus]

Nepenthe Charleston 2006 Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills
Scarborough Wine Co Shiraz 2006 from the Hunter Valley, NSW
Beelgara SQ3 (3 litre cubic cask)  wine including Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Cofield Wines Rutherglen 2005 Shiraz

The dog got out recently. Not Gruntley, never gets out - well, actually he gets out all the time, but no, the nephew’s dog, Billie.

No big deal except that we were conducting a training session to stop Billie getting out and tearing around like a mad thing for hours with the whole family in tow, when I had no sooner finished assuring Nephew that not only would Billie not want to get out, following my special training technique, she couldn’t even if she wanted to because there were no holes in the fence big enough.

You should have seen the little brat, squashed flatter than a carpet snake and faster than a neighbourhood hoon, he was through the gap in the palings before we could say ‘Bad dog’. The taste of freedom clearly more delicious than a schmacko for staying captive.

Little Ms L took off in pursuit, followed by Nephew, yours truly and Gruntley bringing up the rear thinking this was a great new game.

Little Ms L yelled to the street kids, “Grab that dog” as Billie tore through their legs.

“What?” they responded.

Round another corner I got in front to head her off, pushing her back to the posse and the bloke putting out his garbage.

“Cunning little thing”, he remarked much as an economist would, ie truthfully but unhelpfully, as Billie sprinted through the cordon again.

At least the dogs weren’t embarrassing me further by poohing on his lawn...oh Gruntley, not now!

I began to see the funny side, and realised others already had...

“This is more fun than your column, Max”.

There’s always someone watching when you are most embarrassed. The couple enjoying a wine on their verandah were clearly also enjoying the spectacle and were happy for us to continue, adding further spice to their gewurztraminer and gooey cheese.

What are neighbours for? And gewurz’ and grissini on a sunny afternoon?

Eventually Gruntley facilitated the rescue, by coming when called, with Billie in tow, worried she was missing out.

Yep, valuable lessons were learnt that day, but not in my backyard.

Cofield Rutherglen 2005 Shiraz (current vintage 2006), $18.
Let sleeping dogs lie they say, but what if they’re in front of the fridge. Delayed gratification can be a good thing. 8.3/10.

Summit Estate Petit Verdot 2006, $30.
Interesting stuff from the Granite grinders, and belying that heritage is as light as sandstone. 8.7/10.

Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon, 2006, $23.
The longest bottle in the business and from the right area, how could you go wrong? 8.5/10.

Beelgara SQ3 (3 litre cubic cask) Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008, $19.
Snappy packaging and serviceable plonk, but I found it awkward. At about $5 per bottle it’s hard to deny the value. 7.3/10.

Scarborough Shiraz 2006, $25.
Very earthy, very Hunter, which is great for people born on earth and tired of Big Bad B’s such as Barry Hall and Barossan bombs. Almost pinot. 8.4/10.

Nepenthe Charleston 2006 Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills, $23.
Not overly pinot, and I mean that in the kindest possible way. You wouldn’t sing and dance about it but you would be better off drinking it anyway. 8.5/10.

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August 20th, 2008
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